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3 bungalows to be torn down

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NO PAYOUT: Property owners will not be compensated by government, says Federal Territories minister

KUALA LUMPUR: THREE bungalows, including the properties of two members of parliament, at landslide-hit Puncak Setiawngsa will have to be demolished.

Public Works Institute (Ikram) chief operating officer Mohd Taufik Haron told the New Straits Times yesterday that two other bungalows might also suffer the same fate.

"We have no choice but to proceed with the demolition as the priority is to avert landslides at the slope."

Taufik said two of the bungalows to be demolished belonged to Rompin MP Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis and Setiawangsa MP Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique, while the third was located next to Zulhasnan's property.

"We might also need to demolish two other bungalows nearby, but this will depend on further research on the soil condition."

Ikram, together with the housing area's developer Island and Peninsular Sdn Bhd and Public Works Department's slope engineering division, are carrying out remedial works on the slope after the landslide broke its retaining wall, splitting a bungalow into two.

A visit to the site yesterday saw the damaged bungalow had already been demolished, with workers clearing its debris.

Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin said the government would not compensate the landslide victims.

"The issue of compensation is between the developer and property buyers. The authorities are not responsible. It is unfair to use taxpayers' money to pay for the developer's mistake.

"And if we do so, the government will have to compensate every victim of past landslides caused by developers' errors," he said during his visit to the location yesterday.

On the intention of residents and business operators to send a memorandum to the cabinet next week, Raja Nong Chik said it was their right to do so.

The owner of the first demolished bungalow, Al Sheikh Al Syed Afeeddin Al Jailani, said he hoped to meet the authorities and developer to discuss the possibilities of compensation.

I&P Sdn Bhd group managing director Datuk Jamaluddin Osman, who briefed Raja Nong Chik on the hill slope's remedial works yesterday, declined to comment.

Workers strengthening the hill slope at Puncak Setiawangsa yesterday. Pic by Khairull Azry Bidin


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